On April 4, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto visited Brussels, Belgium, and submitted documents to the US Secretary of State (Antony Blinken) to formally join NATO (NATO), making the country the 31st member of NATO.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said that efforts will continue to push neighboring Sweden to join NATO as soon as possible. He pointed out that the Nordic region will continue to strengthen cooperation and establish a common security and defense system.
Niinisto believes that Finland’s most important contribution to NATO’s common deterrence and defense is based on its own security and defense capabilities. He pointed out that there is still important work to be done in Helsinki to become part of NATO’s common defense.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (Jens Stoltenberg) welcomed Finland as a member of NATO, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin (Vladimir Putin) once used opposition to NATO expansion as one of the reasons for sending troops to Ukraine, but the result was the opposite. Finland officially joined , Sweden will soon become a full member.
The Ukrainian government also praised Finland’s decision to join, with President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak saying Finland made the right decision and joining NATO was Ukraine’s main goal.
After Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February last year, Finland and Sweden immediately applied to join NATO. So far, Hungary and Turkey have not officially approved Sweden’s application.
For Finland to become a member of NATO, the Kremlin said on the 3rd that it would be forced to take countermeasures. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned that Finland’s decision may lead to further expansion of the conflict in Ukraine.
Stoltenberg: Putin’s decision to join Finland in NATO will increase the risk of conflict
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on April 4 that Russian President Vladimir Putin led to Finland’s “historic” accession to NATO, contrary to his goal of launching the Ukraine war. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on the 4th that Finland’s participation in NATO increased the risk of conflict.
Stoltenberg said on the 4th that Putin had announced that the goal of the invasion of Ukraine was to reduce the number of NATO members. “He (Putin) got the exact opposite … Finland will be today and Sweden will soon be a full member of NATO,” he said.
Shoigu said on the 4th that Finland’s accession to NATO and NATO’s move to strengthen its own combat readiness will also increase the risk of conflict. He said that some Belarusian military jets are now capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and that the Iskander missile system has been delivered to Belarus. The “Iskander” missile system can use conventional missiles or nuclear missiles.